Waresley & Gransden Woods
PLEASE NOTE: FROM 23/08/21 RIDE REPROFILING AND REGENERATION WILL BE TAKING PLACE. REFER THE THE MAP BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO CHECK WHCIH PATHS WILL BE OPEN FOR PUBLIC USE.
Please only use the access points detailed in the map attached below.
Know before you go
Parking informationPark in the car park on Waresley Road. During bluebell season the car park is very crowded.
Gradient on walk in. Main rides good but slopes near stream. Scroll down to see a map of permitted access points.
When to visit
Opening timesFor the safety of visitors Waresley Wood will be closed on occasional Saturdays over the winter whilst shooting takes place. The Wildlife Trust BCN does not own the shooting rights on this land but works with the shoot to ensure safe access for visitors. Gransden Wood and Brownes' Piece will remain open on shoot days.
Best time to visitSpring and Autumn
About the reserve
Waresley and Gransden Woods are adjoining ancient oak-ash woods, a woodland type that is restricted to lowland England. The site is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its diverse flora, which is enriched by the underlying geology of the wood, a combination of Lower Greensand and Boulder Clay. Dean Brook marks the boundary between the two woods. The woods are home to many breeding birds. An abundance of wildflowers attracts insects, and over 500 species of moth and butterfly have been recorded here. In spring the ground is carpeted with bluebells, primroses, violets and oxlips.
In the early 20th century, the wood was harvested for timber and part of it planted with oak and sycamore, creating areas that are very different from the undisturbed broadleaved woodland and old coppice plots. The woods were originally much larger, a significant part being converted to farmland as recently as the 1970s. We have started the process of regeneration to woodland with Brownes’ Piece. With the helping hand of local schoolchildren, we planted trees and are gradually changing the field to woodland.
We coppice alongside the rides in Waresley and Gransden, and thin trees to allow light to penetrate. We also mow the rides to encourage wildflowers. We have regular work parties at Waresley and Gransden reserve.
Waresley and Gransden Woods are owned and managed as a nature reserve by The Wildlife Trust BCN. The reserve is very popular with visitors so balancing wildlife conservation with public access is very important to the Trust. There are no public rights of way within the woodland, however the Trust does allow permissive access for the public to visit.
We want people to enjoy the woods but as the landowner we may withdraw permissive access if there are concerns about public safety and to protect sensitive wildlife habitats.
We can only allow entry to our nature reserves at designated points with appropriate connections with surrounding path networks. There is no permission given for use of any alternative locations and the Trust reserves the right to amend access locations as it sees fit.
Please do not park along Vicarage Road as this blocks local traffic. The forecourt of the Duncombe Arms is part of the highway and open to the public - you can then access Waresley Wood using the footpath from Wood Farm at Waresley,
The heavy clay nature of the soil, poor ride profile, shady conditions and excessive use in wet winter conditions have left this ride in a poor condition for both wildflowers and pedestrian access. Once reprofiled the ride will require a prolonged period of closure for consolidation and restoration of vegetation. The reprofiled ride will shed water to the edges of the ride helping to provide both better conditions underfoot and for wildflowers. The required consent for this work on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) has been approved by Natural England.
- Seasonal weekend closures: for the safety of visitors Waresley Wood will be closed on occasional Saturdays over the winter whilst shooting takes place. The Wildlife Trust BCN does not own the shooting rights on this land but works with the shoot to ensure safe access for visitors. Gransden Wood and Brownes' Piece will remain open on shoot days.
- Waresley and Gransden woods are part of the West Cambridgeshire Hundreds.
- Read @DerekNeimann's Guardian blogpost about Waresley Wood's ash trees.
- For more information and photos visit the Voluntary Warden's website www.waresleywood.co.uk
- Scroll down to see the reserve boundary. Please note the boundary map is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.
FOR ANY MEDIA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT OUR COMMUNICATIONS TEAM: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01954 713500 and ask for comms team.